Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Now that the Hollow job has been suspended for the winter, the restoration crew is working on company owned properties. In this picture, Jon Miano is putting the finishing touches on a sill replacement at the apartment located behind Farmer's Bank. This building is a modern reconstruction, so we replaced the heart-pine sill with a pressure treated yellow-pine one. We have noticed that the resawn heart-pine is not giving us the life expectancy that we were hoping for, so rather then use pricey material needlessly, we are going with an easily available and affordable alternative when we can. The crew also replaced the threshold at the carriage house of the Cole-Digges with pressure treated material. The door opening was a modern alteration to the carriage house, which once again enabled us to use material of our choosing.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
In the two weeks of November 10th and November 17th the restoration dept restored and rehung the badly damaged right front door and finished the installation of all the siding for the West gable end. Winter has set in in Fauquier, and the dept was unable to finish priming or painting. The crew is still waiting on the delivery for the siding necessary to do the back of the house. A tarp has been rigged over the chimney shoulders to prevent water entry until spring, when the mason can tuck point between the chimney and the siding. The restoration crew plans to make bed molding for the front of the house, consolidate the period bed mold for the back, and make backband for the windows and the center front door. The crew hopes to catch some good weather this winter to paint and install the aforementioned trim, but it may have to wait until the next phase of restoration in the summer of '09.
Friday, October 31, 2008
The front siding for the Hollow was installed and primed this week of 10/27/08. The restoration crew received enough siding to finish the west gable end next week, but are still waiting on material for the back side. The Hollow is finally starting to look like an 18th century house. Windows and interior restoration is planned for next year.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The staff of the APVA Preservation Virginia’s Jamestown Rediscovery Project, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Archaeology Department are pleased to announce that the 2008 Jamestown Conference will be held on Thursday, November 20, in
As is traditional, the conference will be an informal sharing of recent archaeological work work. Presentations consist of 20 minute papers from any discipline with a bearing on the archaeology of the Chesapeake Region (c. 16th-19th centuries.) Many papers will be fairly technical in nature, but the conference is free and open to all interested persons.
If you know anyone who wishes to present an archaeological paper, please have them contact firstname.lastname@example.org before Nov. 5.
Conference information including the schedule will be posted by November 7 at http://www.apva.org/jr.html
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The Restoration crew concentrated their efforts on the front side of the Hollow this week. After repairing the generator, Karl started the tedious process of restoring the pieces of 18th century siding located on the southwest section of the house. He is using both abatron and west system liquid epoxies and Woodepox paste filler made by abatron. The weather has cooled considerably, so the temperature window for using epoxy products is closing.
The crew also did an assessment of the heart poplar siding on hand. They determined that there was enough siding to completely finish the front, so Mike belt sanded and beaded siding. He installed prepped siding Wednesday afternoon. The project was cut short this week because of tent take down duties at the Customs House. The supplier is supposed to deliver more siding this weekend. He is having difficulties finding logs large enough to make 9.5 inch wide heart poplar boards. Jon continues to work on the exterior of Bacon's Castle and has not quite finished the Godspeed Cottage shutters.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
After weeks of consolidating old doors and old trim, squaring existing door openings and making and installing period trim, the Restoration Dept finally has something to show at the Hollow. The East gable end is almost completely sided, save for a few short rows above a 20th century window opening. What took so long? Each of the 9.5 inch wide by 16 feet long pieces of heart poplar siding had to be belt sanded to remove the planer marks and then beaded, with a router for expediency. The work is being done on site with a generator as the power source.
The second picture shows the Northern, back view of the house. The window openings are exact duplicates of the existing original window in the front. They are unusual for an 18th century house because they are nail framed instead of mortice-and-tenon framed. The exterior and interior trims for the windows are jointed at their corners by mortice and tenon, then nailed into place. Why are the frames done so simply and the trim so complex? Next time you bump into Louis ask him, thats why he makes the big bucks. The back door was preserved in its 20 century, tenant house style.
Back on the peninsula but not forgotten, Jon has at last finished all the exterior painting at Smith's Fort. He has also been repairing and replacing storm shutters for the Godspeed cottage, at the request of resident Archeology Directer Bill Kelso. He will soon turn his attention to exterior repairs at Bacon's Castle, among other tasks.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
On Saturday, members of the Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society will provide living history interpretation in the house. Outside there will be children’s Colonial games and dancing.
Come view the Rising Sun Tavern From the Inside-Out. Colonial carpenter-cabinetmaker-joiner Glenn Hyatt will demonstrate methods by which the tavern was built and tools appropriate to the task. He will provide examples of joinery and pegs, period siding and roofing, doors, hinges, and other elements of colonial carpentry. There will be graphic displays of construction techniques and blueprints of the tavern. Mr. Hyatt will also lead "bare bones" tours of the basement for those interested. Glenn will be available Friday 12 - 4; Saturday 11 - 4; and Sunday 12 - 4.
At the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, we will look at "The Many Faces of Hugh Mercer".
Also tour the shop’s physic garden to learn of the medicinal plants Dr. Mercer might have employed.
Antique collectors will be available on Saturday and Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. to give verbal evaluations of your treasures for $5 per item.
On view will be an exhibit honoring 19th-century local hero Matthew Fontaine Maury. He is known as "The Pathfinder of the Seas". This oceanographer, astronomer and Civil War Naval Commander was born in Spotsylvania County. Find out why Matthew Fontaine Maury’s portrait was turned upside down and face to the wall by the Salem Marine Society in Salem, MA.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The APVA restoration crew discovered the initials"JHM" carved into a piece of window trim while working on the only intact 1763-1764 original window at the Hollow. Unfortunately, the trim piece was attached to the window in the 19th century, as evidenced by the cut nails used. Cheryl Sheperd, the architectural historian for the Hollow, was consulted. Her preliminary research suggests that the initials might belong to John H. Marshall, born to Elizabeth Markham Marshall at nearby Montblanc in 1866. She will further research the topic and keep us posted as to her findings.
The crew has also installed heart poplar siding to the West gable end of the Hollow. This involved setting corner trim and cutting the chimney stones against the wall back so the siding can be tucked behind them and then mortared tight. They used the original siding still intact on the Southwest corner of the Hollow and the early nail holes to reproduce the siding pattern that will be used over the whole house.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The restoration crew is deligently trying to diminish the deferred maintenance list before August 11th when they start the siding phase at the Hollow. They fixed the leak over Betty's head at the Cole-Digges on July 1st, which turned out to be a very poorly sealed flange for an air duct in the HVAC unit. Betty was so impressed with the aroma of the Geocel 2315 liquid rubber product we used that she is trying to find it in aerosol form to spritz in her office. The pictures you see are the exterior elements of Smith's Fort. It is our intention to repaint all of the exterior trim of the house. As you can see, it needed doing. Due to the weather and the extensive amount of scraping, sanding and window reglazing this job will take 3 men about 4 weeks to finish.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Also had a chance to visit the John Marshall House on Friday to check on the ongoing roof repair. As Doug has previously reported, the chimney stack on the Courthouse side of the roof was found to have significant deterioration when the flashing was removed. As the scaffolding was in place and the time to make the repairs was right, we quickly engaged Davies Masonry to undertake the repairs. These photos were taken with my camera, but not by me. Being "height-adverse", I sent Doug up the 40 foot aluminum ladder with the camera where he enlisted one of the masons to take some photos of the work.
I had a chance to visit Historic Jamestowne last Friday to check in on the ongoing restoration work on the tombs near the rear wall of the Memorial Church. Much has taken place since my last visit in early June . We choose to concentrate on the two tombs showing the most deterioration. Once the infill had been removed and the loose bricks and brick debris, there was pratcially nothing left to work with, so the tombs are being essentailly reconstructed. All usable bricks and pieces of stonework are being incorportated as possible. Davies Masonry is handling the project and Jon Miano of our restoration crew is assisting. This continues Jon's training in masonry work.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
AND PROGRESS IN STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
The regularly schedule meeting of APVA Preservation Virginia’s Trustees was held in Richmond on 18 June 2008.
The meeting focused on continuing the Strategic Planning Process with the goals of approving the new vision statement, the revised mission statement, and the goals for the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan. In addition, the Board committees and task forces reported on the progress in each of their areas to determine objectives to meet the draft goals.
President John Guy summarized the planning since February. He asked Board Members Eric Thorpe and Gennie Keller, and Executive Director and Secretary Elizabeth Kostelny to report on different aspects of the planning process and the drafting of the vision, mission, and goals.
Vision, Mission, and Goal Statements Approved.
The Board approved the preamble, vision, mission, and goal statements below. The preamble provides context for the vision and mission statements and concisely describes the heritage, statewide activities, and influence of APVA Preservation Virginia. We will use it on our website and other communication venues.
APVA Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889 is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural, and historic heritage, thereby ensuring that historic places are an integral part of the lives of present and future generations. Our mission is directly consistent with and supportive of Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia, benefiting both the Commonwealth and the nation. APVA Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence, and services to the public and special audiences. Results are achieved by saving, managing, and protecting historic places and by developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies. We partner at the local, state, and national levels with individuals and organizations.
We envision a Virginia recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for preserving and promoting its distinctive historic structures, landscapes, collections, communities and archaeological sites—guided by the expert leadership, stewardship and advocacy of APVA Preservation Virginia.
The mission of APVA Preservation Virginia is to preserve, promote, and serve as an advocate for the state’s irreplaceable historic places, thereby providing cultural, economic, and educational benefits to everyone.
--Historic places are preserved in perpetuity―Partner to Preserve Historic Places.
--Through a strategic communication plan and educational and public programs, a strong preservation ethic will be developed that supports the stewardship of historic places—Promote Places and Programs.
--The organization is capable and financially sustainable in effectively fulfilling its mission. Attract Supporters and Members and Organize for Future Success.
Executive Director Elizabeth Kostelny announced the close on the sale of Gay Mont in Caroline County. She stated that the gift by Mr. and Mrs. Patton in the 1970s was intended to help support the long-term preservation of the property and to benefit the organization. The new owners of Gay Mont are bound by easements on the property and will reconstruct some of the structural elements not reconstructed by the Pattons. In addition, the purchasers are keeping the majority of the furnishings with the house, as was the Pattons’ desire. The funds from the sale of the house will be invested in the long-term reserves. The long-term cash reserves help to produce interest income that offsets the operational expenses. The funds from the sale of the collection will be restricted for the reimbursement of acquisitions to and conservation of the collection. She recognized the Pattons for their generosity and vision.
Chair Anne Cross reported that the Committee was renewing its efforts to identify Board candidates to help support the needs of APVA, including candidates with the capacity to give or influence gifts at a high level. She also reported succession leadership plans had been implemented by naming vice chairs to all Board committees.
Chair Bob Sedivy presented a chart that analyzed the allocation of revenue and expenses to the major operation components of programming—public policy, membership, properties without Historic Jamestowne, Historic Jamestowne, and the Revolving Fund. The chart illustrates how in each area of the organization incurs a deficit. Committees and staff will use the analysis in planning to see where additional revenues can be raised, expenses can be trimmed, and activities discontinued. It was acknowledged that there would always be a tension between worthwhile programs we must subsidize and those that can carry them. This exercise is a way to create a proactive strategy going forward to close the gap between revenues and expenses.
Organizational Task Force.
Chair Barry Kerkam reported on the President’s Council meeting that took place on 16 May. Thirteen branches attended and discussed issues related to the draft criteria for branch participation. The Branches representatives have been asked to comment by 15 July. The Task Force will review those comments and present a final proposal for the structure, and criteria related to Branches and Partners to the Board at the 17 September meeting.
Historic Jamestowne Task Force and Historic Jamestowne Archaeology.
Chair Carter Hudgins reported on the first meeting of this group and the consideration of a draft mission statement for Historic Jamestowne. The group is also looking at the long-term strategies needed to plan for and sustain the continued research, expanded public programs, marketing, and promotion of the site. Dr. William Kelso reported on the field school and recent finds.
Chair Katty Mears reported on the Committee’s work to draft criteria by which to evaluate and rank the properties. The Board approved the criteria and asked that the ranking process begin. The criteria will be used to evaluate the best long-term stewards of the properties. It also will be used to evaluate the consideration of any properties in the future. Mrs. Mears presented benchmarks that will be used to evaluate all APVA programs for their effectiveness in supporting the mission, returning investment to the organization, and achieving our goals. Two rugs were deaccessioned from the Mary Washington Branch properties.
Manager Sarah Cooleen updated the Trustees on the status of properties in the Fund and on strategic planning goals of finding dedicated funding for the operations of the Fund, as well as ways to expand the marketing of the program and properties within it.
Interim Director of Development Mary Ellen Stumpf shared the objectives of the development effort to review recommended models for the staffing structure of the department, test a satellite office in the Williamsburg area, and expand the Development Committee. She also noted the necessity to prioritize short- and long-term needs, determine endowment goals, and review the Historic Jamestowne Campaign Phase Two and Three priorities. In membership, set a goal to increase membership to 6,400 units by 2014—effectively doubling the membership role; pilot acquisition stations at Historic Jamestowne and Old Cape Henry Lighthouse; coordinate with the National Trust on appeal to Virginia members; and to increase and sustain a renewal rate from 67% to 75%.
Marketing and Public Relations Director Tina Calhoun reported on the branding initiative to be launched this year. The first step will be an on-line survey to test organizational name and its effectiveness in conveying our mission. The survey also will clarify existing logos for the APVA, Historic Jamestowne, and Jamestown Rediscovery. The results will be used to create corporate identity guidelines, design new materials and develop statewide templates for various printed pieces. We will partner with the VCU Design School. The partnership has the following advantages: 1) supports the concept of partnerships that is listed as part of APVA’s vision and goals and helps forge a new relationship with VCU; 2) offers an opportunity to involve younger people in our work and perhaps introduce the concept of historic preservation to college age students; 3) offers the opportunity to leverage the partnership in future media opportunities; and 4) the APVA's first logo of three ships was designed by VCU students and used by APVA for almost thirty years, an interesting angle to pitch to the media. The results will be a corporate identity package that will be used by all programs, properties, services and branches.
Regional Trustee Reports.
Mrs. Cross, Mrs. Mears, and Dr. Wills reported on the Branches in their region. Mrs. Kenneweg was not present.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Mr. and Mrs. James Patton gave Gay Mont and its collection of furnishings related to the house to APVA in the late 1970s. The House was rebuilt after a tragic fire in the 1950s. The Pattons took care in putting the 275 plus acres under easement so that no development of the land may ever take place. The Pattons’ retained a life-time tenancy. Mr. Patton, the last remaining resident, passed away in November of 2007.
When the house was acquired, there might have been a brief thought that it would function as a historic house museum. That thought was fleeting, however, with the recognition that visitation could sustain a financial model for the long-term preservation of the house. Mr. Patton acknowledged this fact as well. He did desire that every effort the made to keep the house and the collection so lovingly brought back to Gay Mont be kept together as much as possible. That desire proved one of our biggest challenges.
When Mr. Patton died in November, APVA became the owner of the house. The Restoration Crew secured the house and posted signs to deter trespassers. Cathy Dean began a full inventory of the collection. Louis Malon began the process of securing appraisals. The neighbors who had nursed Mr. Patton looked in to make sure all was secure.
Shortly after acquiring the house, an individual stepped forward to purchase the property. He undertook engineering and architectural studies to determine that his needs could be accommodated. He plans to re-build the music room, complete the second floor and modernize the bathrooms and kitchen. Through Cathy’s good work, she negotiated a sale of the collection with the intent of keeping the majority of it with the house. And thanks to Sarah’s tenacity, the property closed on time while Louis jetted off to Hawaii.
The sale of Gay Mont represents a beneficial model in historic preservation. Knowing that it is unwise to think of preservation soley within the context of historic house museums, placing Gay Mont in private hands with the resources to restore and preserve it is wise. The proceeds from the sale will be invested in APVA Preservation Virginia’s future. Under our policy, the sale proceeds will be placed in our long-term cash reserves to generate interest income for the on-going operations of the organization. The funds resulting from the sale of the collection will be restricted to acquire new objects for the collection or to help conserve objects already in the collection.
The Pattons gave us a great gift—perhaps greater then anyone realized at the time. The Pattons gave APVA Preservation Virginia the gift of security. Security in knowing that the funds from the sale invested in the long-term cash reserves will generate operating support for years to come. THANK YOU MR. and MRS. PATTON!
And thanks to all who helped make the sale of Gay Mont seem effortless!
Friday, June 13, 2008
The restoration dept traveled to Scotchtown on Thursday June 12, 2008 to set the pad for the "Colonial Dames" plaque, which has been on a temporary post since 2003. Five years for the APVA is a relatively small period of time. On the following day, the crew finished the last stages of the dependancies roofing at Smith"s Fort. This job required 8 days for 3 men, one to true and round shingles and 2 to strip the old shingles and install new ones. The shingles cost $1350, a consideral expense for sure, but the roofs should last 30-plus years.
Monday, June 9, 2008
The large Maple tree that has shaded the rear of Scotchtown, Patrick Henry's former home in Hanover County, is dead. After showing signs of distress the last couple of years, it has simply not leafed out at all this year. Ann Reid has secured prices for having it removed, as well as some of the other large trees at the site trimmed back to remove dead and threatening limbs. Because this tree is inside the fence area, that area of concern to The Garden Club of Virginia, and is such a significant landscape feature on the property, we have solicited their permission to have it removed and their advice about having it replaced. Having seen this picture, the advisor to the Club, Will Reilly, concurs that the tree has to go.
Not only is the tree dying, it poses a significant threat to the house because of its proximity. This raises a bit of a dilemma for us. We appreciate the shading value of a mature tree this close to the structure. Passive ventilation and use of natural alternatives to machine powered air conditioning as much as possible is one of the aspects of sustainability that we preach about old houses. However, when those features become fragile with age and natural cycles, as well as the threat of storms as we learned in Isabelle a few years ago, the safety of the house from an obvious threat has to be considered. When this feature is replaced, we will seek a buffer from the House so as it matures it will not present a new threat for future stewards to worry about.
On Friday, June 6, 2008, Karl and Mike of the restoration dept finished roofing the necessary house, while Jon worked with Davies Masonry on the tombs at the Jamestown church.
The following Monday, with the same working arrangements, the North side of the tool shed was stripped and then covered with sheet rubber held on with wood strips. The rubber is much heavier than plastic tarps and much more reliable. Its a damn shame those idiots in restoration can't figure out how to arrange and caption their pictures better.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
The restoration crew finished the North side of the necessary house at Smiths Fort plantation on June 5th, 2008, leaving the South side, plus the tool shed on the other corner of the yard to go. The shingles are 24 inch, medium cedar "handsplits", meaning they are about one-half inch at the butt, sawn on the bottom and split on the top. The process of setting up scaffold, tearing off the old roof and installing new shingles takes two men about two days per side, which does not include trueing the shingle edges and rounding them on a bandsaw. The old shingles were sawn cypress and had been installed @1985.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
April 1—Excavation site opened.
May 4-5 Bill Kelso takes Historic Jamestowne Rediscovery to the Big Apple with
speaking engagements at the University Club to the Colonia Dames and
at the Explorer’s Club.
May 10—Jamestown Landing Day in cooperation with the Jamestown Yorktown
Foundation welcomed visitors to enjoy educational and entertaining programs
May 13—Announcement of Virginia’s Most Endangered Sites on the 401st
anniversary at the site where our nation began, the statewide historic
preservation movement took some of its initial steps and historical archaeology was born and continues to be refined—see the list at www.apva.org.
June 2—2008 Field School begins